Today we sadly farewell another legendary friend in our motor racing world – Frank Matich.
Hailed by many as Australia’s finest all-round race driver, with engineering and driving skills to rival the late great Sir Jack Brabham, Frank Matich has died in Sydney after a long and debilitating illness. He was 80 years of age.
In a racing career spanning two decades from the mid-fifties, Matich captured several Australian Sports Car, GT and Gold Star titles, two Australian Grands Prix and the 1970 NZ GP. Two of the Sports Car titles fell to him in his own cars, the SR3 and SR4, while in 1971 he drove his self-designed F5000 car, the Matich A50, to victory in the AGP, then in 1972 took the Gold Star Championship in his A51 and A52.
Though Matich consistently held his own against the best Internationals – Clark, Hill, McLaren and Brabham – the coveted Tasman Cup always eluded him and despite constant pressure he resisted chasing the challenge overseas in favour of staying at home with his family.
Artwork by Brian Caldersmith